FISH FLASH: Captains and anglers brave rough seas for Rodeo catches
Although Hurricane Delta stirred up the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Louisiana on Friday, fishermen still took to the Gulf over the weekend in hopes of getting on the leaderboard of the 72nd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.
And, according to weighmaster Bruce Cheves, just a handful of fish were weighed in on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Capt. Brady Bowman and his crew on the Bow'd Up pulled in a few fish that made the daily leaderboard. Danny White of Indiana weighed in a 34.4-pound wahoo, Sean Davis of Georgia a 20-pound amberjack, and Greg Gossett landed a 33-pound king mackerel.
With the Gulf kicking up on Saturday, a couple of boats fished inshore and weighed in a redfish and a trout for daily awards.
Sunday was a bit better and more boats ventured out, but according to some of the captains it was still rough out.
"There was no place to hide," said Capt. Mike Graef of the Huntress.
Graef said the Gulf was kicking up 4- to 6-footers with an occasional 7-footer.
But his group still got on the board with a 10.2-pound king mackerel and a 22-pound blackfin tuna.
Six-year-old Renesmae Green came walking up with her dad with a 1.6-pound bluefish she caught while fishing on Okaloosa Island. Word is the fish put up a fight and about dragged her into the water.
Capt. Jason Klosterman came in Sunday on the Destin Princess with a few fish to weigh. Klosterman said they fished 20 miles from Destin down east about 12 miles off the beach.
"We stayed inshore ... it wasn't too bad. Most of the people were fishing," he said.
Capt. Tyler Brielmayer on the Nothin' Matters came in from a 10-hour trip Sunday afternoon with an Almaco Jack and mingo for a daily.
"It was solid 4s for sure. It was stupid rough," Brielmayer said.
In the last hour before the scales closed, Capt. Allen Staples and Capt. Ben O'Connor of the 100 Proof came in with four fish that made the daily board. Angler Isaac Eyth of Alabama weighed in a 55.2-pound amberjack, 17.6-pound Almaco Jack, and a 22.8-pound blackfin tuna. Felipe Canta reeled in a 2.2-pound mingo.
Not long after, Capt. Robert Hill backed in on the Twilight with a 13-pound grouper caught by Tierce Williams of Alabama and a 22.8-pound blackfin pulled in by Sharon Jones of Alabama. Jones' fish was the ladies largest of the day.
And not long before closing, Brett Peterson walked up with a 1.8-pound flounder that got on the leaderboard in the Pier, Bridge, Jetty and Surf Division.
Not too shabby of a weekend following a hurricane. The Rodeo count was at 509 at close of day Sunday.
Don't forget, the Rodeo scales are open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar on Destin harbor.
See you at the Rodeo.